Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said President Donald Trump’s expectations on how long Congress should take to complete top priorities are too high while giving a speech at the Florence Rotary Club in Kentucky Monday.
According to McConnell, the president’s lack of legislative experience has led to the administration setting artificial deadlines on issues including health care and tax reform, causing the perception GOP lawmakers have been ineffective in accomplishing their top priorities, The Hill first reported.
“Now our new president has, of course, not been in this line of work before, and I think has excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process,” he told the crowd. “And so, part of the reason I think people feel like we’re underperforming is because too many artificial deadlines unrelated to the reality and the complexity of legislature may not have been fully understood. And so what I’m asking of you is to judge this Congress when it finishes.”
The Kentucky Republican argued people shouldn’t judge too soon, as the party still has time to get things done
“A Congress goes on for two years,” McConnell continued. “And part of the reason I think that this storyline is that we haven’t done much is because in part the president and others have set these early timelines about things need to be done by a certain point.”
McConnell’s comments come less than two weeks after Republicans in the upper chamber failed to pass the motion to proceed on a watered-down version of their Obamacare repeal bill — a measure some say as a last resort for leadership.
House GOP leaders have not been shy about expressing their frustrations with the Senate’s sluggish pace in bringing up House-passed legislation.
After the Senate’s failed attempt at passing the skinny repeal, House Speaker Paul Ryan released a statement saying he was “disappointed and frustrated,” but he encouraged his Senate colleagues not to give up.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy previously noted the lower chamber has sent over 250 bills to the Senate since the start of the 115th Congress, yet the upper chamber has failed to act on a several of them.
“I took in the metrics of the number of bills that have passed, and I took it back to [George] H. W. Bush. So you’re going back more than 30 years. This is actually the most productive Congress, more than 269 bills passed out of the House,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation during a mid-July interview. “The challenge is over on the Senate side, so when you combine it, it makes it a little challenging.”
McCarthy said he hopes his Senate colleagues will work to compromise on a bill they can agree upon so they can deliver on their promise to bring down premiums.
Ahead of recessing, Senate GOP leadership said they are still waiting on the Congressional Budget Office to score two health-care amendments they hope will sway enough members to pass an Obamacare repeal bill.
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